Today I came upon the following tweet courtesy of a retweet by Secular Outpost. (As a disclaimer, Secular Outpost does not consider a retweet an endorsement of the tweet. Nor, for that matter, do I.)
Meet Zea, the 7-year-old who stood up to a homophobic hate preacher this week by holding up a rainbow sign. pic.twitter.com/fYygt4d643
— Sam Kalidi (@samkalidi) July 1, 2015
I have two reactions to this tweet.
The first was contained in a tweet of my own (one which, I am guessing, will not be retweeted 3500+ times and liked 4000+ times):
My second point is not directly related to the tweet but is rather inspired by it. I have little doubt that many of those who approved of adults sending that unwitting child into that maelstrom would describe themselves as freethinkers. They’d be skeptical of “religion” and “religious indoctrination”. And they’d resonate with the moral censure that Richard Dawkins extends to parents who dare to raise their children to have religious beliefs:
“A child is not a Christian child, not a Muslim child, but a child of Christian parents or a child of Muslim parents. This latter nomenclature, by the way, would be an excellent piece of consciousness-raising for the children themselves. A child who is told she is a ‘child of Muslim parents’ will immediately realize that religion is something for her to choose -or reject- when she becomes old enough to do so.” (The God Delusion, 382)
And I can’t help but note the irony. Those same people who would decry a parent giving their child a cross to hold at a religious rally applaud the parent who gives their child a rainbow flag and then sends her to confront an angry religious ideologue.
Which leads me to think that many self-described “freethinkers” believe children should be free of all ideologies … except the ones that the freethinkers themselves happen to hold.